By: Fr. Roy Cimagala
LETS be reminded always of what Christ once said. Letyour Yes be Yes, and your No, No. For whatever is more thanthese is from the evil one. (Mt 5,37)
Our life in a nutshell can be summarized with these words.We need to say Yes always to God, and No to the enemies of God andof our soul, namely, our weakened flesh, the sinful allurements of theworld, and the devil himself.
If we follow by this divine dictum, for sure our life willbe made simpler and happier, meaningful and fruitful, because then wewould be living our life according to Gods will and ways, which isproper to us since our life is meant to be a life with God.
This means that we have to know God very well, somethingthat we can doof course, in a gradually progressive wayby readingthe gospel and availing ourselves of the other sources of our faith.
Such knowledge would transform us and prod us to conformour thoughts, words and deeds to Gods will and ways. We would knowwhat things are from God and what things are not.
We therefore can never exaggerate this need of knowing Godas best as we can. We need to do everything to develop a systematicway of growing in our knowledge of God.
Its important that we be quick to distinguish betweenwhat are Gods and what are not Gods. Especially in these days ofrapid developments when the line between good and evil is gettingblurred and grayish, and the forces of good and evil are in suchconstant battle as to often leave us confused and bewildered, we needto develop a sharp sense of discernment.
Of course, it should be a sense of discernment that iseffective in the context of a very dynamic world. We are not anymoreliving in a simple world where black is black and white is white,where innovations are threatening to wipe out traditions, where agrowing culture of relativism is undermining the legitimacy of theabsolute.
And one good way of developing this sense of discernmentis to follow what Christ himself suggested to his disciples once: Ifanyone wants to be my disciple, he must deny himself, take up hiscross and follow me. (Mt 16,24)
We need to say Yes to this command of Christ and learnto say No to ourselves. This means that we have to conform our willto Christs will and to say No to our own will. We have to rememberthat our will that is not in conformity with Christs will is a willthat is out on a limb. Sooner or later it will only do evil and endbadly.
We have to concretize this Yes and No in our life. Wehave to say Yes to a time of prayer, recourse to the sacraments,generosity in sacrifices, continuing development of virtues. We haveto say No to all forms of self-indulgence no matter how legitimatethese forms of self-indulgence may appear to us.
We have to say Yes to love of God and others, fidelityto our vocation, responsibility to our duties, recourse to continuingmeans of formation, no matter the effort and discomfort they mayinvolve. We have to say No to impulse buying and impulse access tothe Internet and the new technologies.
In the latter case, it might be a good idea to put clearlimits, like opening the cell phone once or twice per hour only, or toput it away when we are already in bed which should be a time ofintense prayer and presence of God.
We have to say Yes to the clear indication of ourconscience and No when we start to haggle, bargain, argue with ourconscience and start to rationalize. Temptations should be shot downimmediately, not giving it any foothold